Why should import restrictions on antiquities from Cambodia be renewed?

SAFECORNERAnnouncement, Commentary, Report1 Comment

Weeks before the gavel fell on New York’s Asia Week auctions, Nord Wennerstrom began raising questions about the “iffy provenance” of Khmer artifacts, echoed by Chasing Aphrodite’s post on its Facebook page “For sale at Asia Week auctions: tons of unprovenanced Khmer antiquities“. Although the lack of published provenance (or ownership history) is not proof of dubious origin, it begs … Read More

Belize 6, Bulgaria 1, Dodge City 50

Paul BarfordCommentary4 Comments

The governments of Belize and Bulgaria have requested (under article 9 of the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Cultural Property) the help of the US in curbing the smuggling of artefacts out of the countries. The details of these requests can be found on the AIA webpage: “Preserving … Read More

SAFE congratulates newly appointed CPAC Chair Patty Gerstenblith

SAFECORNERAnnouncement1 Comment

The White House just announced President Obama’s intent to nominate key Administration posts, including Prof. Patty Gerstenblith as Chair of Cultural Property Advisory Committee. Gerstenblith’s biography reads: Patty Gerstenblith has been Professor of Law at DePaul University College of Law and founding president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation. She also serves as senior advisor to the International … Read More

The Senator and a US No-Questions-Asked Antiquities Market

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New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand recently supported a seminar organized to question the rationale behind part of the US International Cultural Property Protection Program. I found this disturbing and have written to her to ask why, and whether she supports this program and feels it should be strengthened or disabled. Members of SAFE – particularly those based in New York – … Read More

“A Primer on the Restitution of Looted Antiquities”

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The Fall/Winter 2010 edition of Cultural Heritage & Arts Review, a publication of the American Society of International Law’s Interest Group on Cultural Heritage & the Arts, is now available by subscription. One of the articles “The Ancient World Meets the Modern World: A Primer on the Restitution of Looted Antiquities” can be found on Herrick, Feinstein LLP‘s web site. … Read More

Sebastian Heath’s account of CPAC Meeting

SAFECORNERUpdate1 Comment

On November 13, Vice-President for Professional Responsibilities of the AIA Sebastian Heath attended the public hearing in Washington DC to review Italy’s request that the bilateral agreement with the US to restrict importation of antiquities be renewed. His account of the hearing has just been posted on AIA’s web site. Such hearings [as well as bilateral agreements, or Memoranda of … Read More

The US signs bilateral agreement with China to protect cultural heritage

SAFECORNERAnnouncement3 Comments

After nearly four years and amidst much anticipation and speculation, the US has agreed to grant China’s request to implement import restrictions on antiquities into the US, as fellow state parties to the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (UNESCO 1970). This bilateral agreement, or Memorandum of … Read More

U.S. Department of Homeland Security to look into “Ka-Nefer-Nefer” mask case

SAFECORNERCommentary, Report2 Comments

The AP article “St. Louis museum proud of its ancient mask purchase, but Egypt calls it a steal” reports that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is now looking into the case of the “Ka-Nefer-Nefer” mask, which many people believe to have been stolen from Egypt. The article recounts the meticulously documented discovery of the mask by Mohammed Zakaria Ghoneim, … Read More